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The Skagit: A Rural/Indigenous Case Study

Date & Time
Saturday, November 6, 2021, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

“This isn’t just for us, it is for everyone that utilizes this river, and the animals that use it,” said Chairman Nino Maltos of the Sauk-Suiattle tribe’s fight against the City of Seattle and Seattle City Lights, to have the institutions add Fish Passage to the Skagit dam system—and in doing so, restore salmon to every community member in the Skagit Valley. In this discussion, different members of the community share how they are collaborating to protect their natural resources from larger, urban interests. This is a lesson in multi-stakeholder conflict resolution, Indigenous stewardship, tribal sovereignty, and the connection between neighbours of different backgrounds to protect the salmon and their futures. Discover more about the relationships and strategy between an essential fight still in play.

Session Type
Session Tags
Restoration/Conservation, Salmon, Social Justice, Relationship with Land, Allyship/Activism
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Peter Browning has experience in the business world from owning a Restaurant Company in Aspen Colorado. He has a Masters in Cultural Anthropology and worked in AIDS research for Seattle King County, Washington. Peter was hired by Skagit County, WA to run their Public Health Department for about twenty years and is now a County Commissioner for Skagit County. Peter has taught Anthropology in Community Colleges and was a Clinical Faculty for the University of Washington School of Public Health. Peter loves living in the Northwest because of all the opportunities to be active outdoors.
Peter Browning
Jenna is the executive director of the Skagit Drainage and Irrigation Districts Consortium. The Districts serve 56,000 acres of agricultural land in the Skagit delta. The Consortium provides leadership and cooperation between districts and the broader community to improve water security for farmers, support operation and maintenance of dike and drainage infrastructure, and improve environmental quality.She earned a BS in Biology from Oregon State University and an MS in Engineering from the University of Washington. Jenna grew up exploring the outdoors in the PNW. She is married, has two teenagers, and enjoys hiking, soccer, and cooking with local food.
Jenna Friebel
Will Honea was born in the Skagit Valley, and grew up commercial fishing in Alaska and Washington. Will built and ran his own boats for several years after high school, served as an Army officer after college with deployments to Bosnia and Afghanistan, after which he completed law school at the University of Washington and practiced at a Seattle firm. Will has represented Skagit County government as an attorney on natural resource, land use, tribal and environmental issues since 2007. In his spare time Will has renovated several historic buildings in the Skagit Valley area including the Woolley Market in Sedro-Woolley, a business that Will also started. Will lives in the Upper Skagit Valley near Rockport with his wife Tahlia and three kids, Ezra, Edna and Elie, where they grow a good deal of their own food.
Will Honea
Nino Maltos is the Chairman of the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe
Nino Maltos

Moderated By

A committed and involved community member, Andrew Miller is an elected Skagit Public Utility District 1 Commissioner where he champions community-based solutions and strong public and private partnerships related to water and data infrastructure. Andrew is also a member of the Skagit County Innovation Partnership Zone (Value-added ag), the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce Board, the Genuine Skagit Valley advisory board, he also serves on the Viva Farms Board as Treasurer and, the Downtown Mount Vernon Association economic development board, and has done strategy and team-building work for the Port of Skagit, the Skagit Home Trust, the Sedro-Woolley Downtown Association, the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee, and the Helping Hands Food Bank.
Andrew is currently the Executive Chairman of Spinach Bus Ventures (the management firm that owns and operates Tulip Town, Fairhaven Mill, Skagit Acres, and Skagit Landing) and is the CEO of Spinach Bus Solutions, a consulting, training, and strategy firm committed to helping rural businesses maximize their impact and economic potential in ways that are sustainable and consistent with community values.
Andrew is a graduate of Seattle University School of Law (JD), Pacific Lutheran University (MBA), Gonzaga University (MA), The Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School (MA). A veteran Air Force Intelligence Officer and combat flight crew member, Andrew also led global teams at Weyerhaeuser, Expedia, and Amazon before returning to Skagit Valley.
An avid runner, when he’s not chasing his six kids around the Valley with his beautiful wife Holly at various sporting, music, arts or whatever else happens to be on the family calendar, you’re most likely to run into Andrew hiking, camping, climbing, and boating around the North Cascades and San Juan Islands.
Andrew Miller